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Ruth Rendell. Publisher: Pantheon Books , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Safe houses and secret message drops, double crosses and defections—it sounds like the stuff of sophisticated espionage, but the agents are only schoolboys engaged in harmless play. Buy Used View Book. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Pantheon, Hardcover. Fawcett, Softcover. Search for all books with this author and title.
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Rendell, Ruth. Published by Pantheon Books. Published by Pantheon Books Used Paperback Quantity Available: Bahamut Media Reading, United Kingdom. So, increasingly unhinged and hoping to somehow harass or worse his rival, John puts a fake message in the spy-game "drop"--one that orders Charles to tail Peter Moran. And young Charles, who just happens to be the sort of pretty lad Moran dotes on, sets out to perform this mission brilliantly, determined to prove his loyalty to London Central. There's a grim, violent denouement to come, of course, but only after an attenuated buildup--and only involving supporting players.
Loose ends abound, since Rendell has lumbered neurotic, repressed John with excess psycho-baggage: a loony best pal; a bonkers employee; and memories of a murdered sister who might have been a secret nymphomaniac. Finally, then, despite fine atmosphere, dozens of clever touches, and considerable charm in the schoolboy-espionage, this is one of Rendell's least effective constructions: too much contrivance, too much clinical psychology, too little genuine passion or peril.
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Categories of Interest: Select All. Current Affairs. Historical Fiction. True Crime. Talking to Strange Men by Ruth Rendell. A schoolboys' spy game takes a chilling and deadly turn under the deft direction of the inimitable Ruth Rendell. Get A Copy. Mass Market Paperback , pages. Published September 12th by Fawcett first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Talking to Strange Men , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Talking to Strange Men. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I read this because I was in a mood for some good classic mystery novel. Unfortunately, it was neither of those things. First of all, I should've picked something American, as I find all mid-sized English towns dreary, and can hardly ever muster any enthusiasm for books taking place in mid-sized English towns.
This wasn't a crime novel per se, more of a story of a pathetic, depressed man whose wife left him for some scoundrel and who becomes obsessed with decoding messages of what he think is a I read this because I was in a mood for some good classic mystery novel. What follows is a chain of coincidences, resulting in a total tragedy of errors and some paedophilia, as well as countless loose ends that beg to be tied up somehow. It's a weird, and ultimately unsatisfying book, because the climax, while definitely climactic, does not involve any main characters, only a couple of despicable secondary ones we never cared for in the first place.
I considered one star, but this is Ruth Rendell, one of my bygone favorite authors But then, were my actual favorites the Barbara Vine variety? I don't think I own this one. This was a library loan in this case because I thought it would be fun to get the Rendell twist on Soviet spy craft just following after the Daniel Silva book I read. There are codes, English school boy spy games and many other oddities with a full cast of wacky and depressed c I considered one star, but this is Ruth Rendell, one of my bygone favorite authors There are codes, English school boy spy games and many other oddities with a full cast of wacky and depressed characters and out of control situations that do not please and cannot be understood.
I was without my decoding ring and could not make out what this book was about. Ruth Rendell novels adapt very well to the audio format and the ones I have listened to have all been enjoyable. Her plots are intricate. Have you seen those pseudo-family trees that "prove" connections between rock stars and royalty, politicians and criminals? Rendell plots are like that.
They remind me of dropping a small blob of ink on blotting paper and seeing the tendrils creep out and join up. Her characters are not always very likable, and often have curious names, but they always seem Ruth Rendell novels adapt very well to the audio format and the ones I have listened to have all been enjoyable. Her characters are not always very likable, and often have curious names, but they always seem real and true to life. Surely we all know people like Colin, who still lives with his mother, or Fergus, who worries about everything?
She even takes trouble with minor characters. I loved the teacher who peppered his conversations with Latin phrases and the old mother who assumed an invitation to her son to meet for a pint at the pub included her. The plot is very original, I doubt you'll have read anything like this before.
Spookside is a very inventive creation, but Rendell keeps it credible. The handling of all the different plot strands is deft, with no loose ends left. I also like the way the reader is left wondering what would happen next. A clever and complex plot. This said, there were a few things I found puzzling. Was it just local colour? John, Mark, Peter, Jennifer and Gavin all seemed to me to be foiled in love, be it for birds, wives, boys or whatever.
Love is pretty dangerous in Ruth Rendell's world, isn't it, and leads to unwelcome consequences for everyone. I also felt there was a slight lapse in credibility at the point when Jennifer let Charles clean the car just after John's revelation about Peter. Was she in denial, was it a test, was she stupid? All in all, I thought this was an enjoyable listen as I went up and down the M1 last week.
Christian Rodska whoever he is was an excellent reader. Mind you, I reckon whoever reads Ruth Rendell, it is still her voice that you hear. Her writing is quite distinctive. Dec 25, Stephen Lawton rated it liked it. I'm not really sure what I thought of this "two stories that eventually intersect" story.
On the one hand I couldn't follow nor was interested in the schoolboy spies story. On the other I was interested in the "hopelessly wants to get back with his ex-wife" story and the very bizarre revelations that came with it. There was definitely a build up of tension once the stories intersected and I'm very glad that one of those stories didn't go the way it could have as that would have been very hard to I'm not really sure what I thought of this "two stories that eventually intersect" story. There was definitely a build up of tension once the stories intersected and I'm very glad that one of those stories didn't go the way it could have as that would have been very hard to read.
At the end of it all I felt slightly dissatisfied though I can't articulate why. Maybe it's because of all the descriptive passages that don't really add anything to the story or its mood. Want to play spy? Not after reading this. Really enjoyed theis one because of the story and the ending. Rendell's novel tells the story of several people who don't know each other and how thier lives intersect.
An example of unintended evetns.
Perhaps my favourite Rendell yet? Oct 15, Alison C rated it liked it. John Creevey has lost a lot in his life - his parents, his sister murdered and most recently his wife, who just left him to go back to the man she was going to marry until she was dumped at the last minute. When he stumbles across some coded messages sort of hidden in plain sight, he takes it as a sign that he should try to interpret them, wondering if t John Creevey has lost a lot in his life - his parents, his sister murdered and most recently his wife, who just left him to go back to the man she was going to marry until she was dumped at the last minute.
When he stumbles across some coded messages sort of hidden in plain sight, he takes it as a sign that he should try to interpret them, wondering if they were from a violent gang, a drug ring, perhaps international spies - but the truth is far different than his imaginings, and the events he unknowingly sets into motion lead only to death….
Talking to Strange Men is a novel by British writer Ruth Rendell. Plot summary. Two plotlines run through this crime novel. The main adult protagonist. John Creevey has recently separated from his wife Jennifer and is still obsessed with her and Peter Mullin, the new man in her life. Many years ago his sister.
This is a stand-alone novel by Ruth Rendell from , and as with all her work, the inner lives and psychological profiles of her characters are extremely well-drawn and very human. The plot is, also as always, quite involved and convoluted; the reader knows that something is going to happen, but not quite what it will be until nearly the end. I found the main characters to be really unappetizing, though, and so while I enjoyed her writing as much as I have ever done, this book left me somewhat angsty, a bit depressed.
Aug 14, Liz rated it really liked it Shelves: mysteries. Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite writers, but this is my least favorite Rendell book so far. A group of teenagers has created an elaborate game of codes and mock espionage. A lonely man longing to reunite with his ex-wife stumbles on their game, and the paths of the two begin to intertwine.
The man thinks he has come across a real nest of spies, while the youths are trying to figure out whether someone within or o Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite writers, but this is my least favorite Rendell book so far. The man thinks he has come across a real nest of spies, while the youths are trying to figure out whether someone within or outside their game is playing a lone hand. Additionally, there is a real-life child molester in the city, preying on young boys. Rendell weaves it all together beautifully and believably, but it was a letdown for me.
Ah, well, a mediocre Rendell is still better than the best from other writers! Dec 11, Foster Winter added it.
External Reviews. John cannot understand it. Archie and Archie Ruth Rendell. About the Author. In this novel, everything is just right and there's even a sort of twist which works. Top marks for originality, obscure character names and ideas for games the kids could play in the holidays!